Linux 5.2 Is Introducing The Fieldbus Subsystem

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 20 April 2019 at 07:18 AM EDT. 3 Comments
A new subsystem queued for introduction in the upcoming Linux 5.2 cycle is the Fieldbus Subsystem, which is initially being added to the staging area of the kernel.

This newest subsystem for the Linux kernel benefits industrial systems. Fieldbus is a set of network protocols for real-time distributed control of automated industrial systems. Fieldbus is used for connecting different systems/components/instruments within industrial environments. Fieldbus is used for connecting facilities ranging from manufacturing plants up to nuclear energy facilities.

The Fieldbus specification has been around for decades while now is seeing a formal subsystem within the Linux kernel. The subsystem allows for devices to exchange data over a Fieldbus whether it be Profinet, FLNet, or one of the other implementations. The subsystem provides a generic framework for exposing switches, lights, actuators, motors, and other hardware.

As part of this initial subsystem is support for the HMS Profinet Card. PROFINET is based on Ethernet and uses TCP/IP paired with specialized protocols designed for delivering real-time performance and the ability to integrate with other Fieldbus systems.

The Linux kernel's Fieldbus subsystem has gone through over ten rounds of public revisions in recent months and has been deemed ready to premiere with Linux 5.2. Greg Kroah-Hartman has queued the code coming in at approximately three thousand lines to his staging-next branch ahead of the Linux 5.2 merge window opening in May. Linux 5.2 stable should debut in July.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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